Performing water heater maintenance is vital to it having a long life. Brenneco Plumbing, your Lafayette Plumber, can help!

Can I fix my water heater instead of replacing it?

The quick answer is yes, in some cases!

If your water heater isn’t performing to your expectations, it might be time to have it checked out. You are probably wondering if there are any repairs you can do yourself. While there are definitely problems that have simple solutions, you should seriously consider having a professional plumber assist you. There are many different things that can happen if you water heater happens to malfunction or ultimately fail.

If you do decide to do some problem solving before calling a lafayette plumber, the first step is diagnosing what might be wrong.

The most common complaint we see in regards to water heaters is that they aren’t heating the water to a high enough temperature. If you haven’t adjusted the temperature setting on the water heater, that might be the place to start. If you have already carefully adjusted the heat setting up to a safe temperature and it’s still not hot enough, you may have a bigger problem.

Many cases end up being a faulty heating element or thermostat. Here are a few simple fixes if this isn’t the case.

For Electric Water Heaters:

If you have an electric water heater, the first and most basic thing to check is wether it’s plugged in or not! It may sound silly, but your water heater could have come unplugged. This should be an easy fix to get you back to your beloved hot showers in no time.

If you find the plug is in the wall, make sure that it’s pushed in good and tight. A bad connection can rob your water heater of it’s much needed energy. Once you plug it in, you may need to reset the thermostat.

If the thermostat is unable to be reset, it might need to replaced altogether. If your water heater is older, you may not be able to find the correct equipment. This may be a good time to replace your water heater.

There could also be a build up of minerals and contaminants. If this is the case, the best way to repair your water heater is to drain the tank. On most water heaters, there is a place to hook up a rubber hose in the back of the tank to drain it. Removing contaminants from around the heating element could bring your water heater back to life!

If all of these things have been done and there is still no success, replacing the heating element is the next step. This is the hardest and most expensive step. This would be a good time to contact a professional Lafayette plumber for help. This would be a very good time to truly evaluate what it would take to get a new water heater installed.

For Gas Water Heaters:

The first place to start with a gas water heater is the pilot light. This is, hands down, the most common problem we see. If you check the pilot light and find that it isn’t lit, simply follow the instructions on the water heater itself to relight the pilot light. This should fix your problem!

If you get your pilot light re-lit and it doesn’t stay on, you may have an issue with your water heater’s thermo coupler. This is a safety device installed on your unit. This should be a fairly straight forward repair. You can find instructions for your specific model by searching for the instructions online.

If the pilot light is on, it might be time to simply drain the water heater. On most water heaters, there is a place to hook up a rubber hose in the back of the tank to drain it. Removing contaminants from around the heating element could bring your water heater back to life!

Water Heaters are water tight, which means there should only be water in the unit, not outside of it. If you can see standing water on the unit or the surrounding area, you have a problem. Simple fixes you can do yourself include tightening all of the fittings to make sure no water is escaping. If all the fittings are tight and there is still a leak, it’s time to replace your unit.

Good Luck!